Fairfax Assault Lawyer
In Virginia, the criminal act of assault is characterized by the threat or intent to cause someone else physical harm, as well as the actual physical act of harming another. Fairfax County is the most populous jurisdiction within the Commonwealth of Virginia with a population of just over one million residents. Given the size of its population, it is no surprise that Fairfax law enforcement officials and prosecutors are devoted to protecting residents and visitors alike from crime. In Virginia, assault charges are categorized as Class 1 misdemeanors, however an assault-related charge may easily escalate to a felony offense, depending on the circumstances. The penalties for assault crimes are already very harsh, but if the offense involves sexual assault or acts of prejudice, the punishments can become even more severe. The same harsher sentencing can also apply in assault cases involving law officials, teachers, and government employees. If you have been accused of an assault-related offense, contact an experienced Fairfax assault attorney to learn more about the charges you are facing and the possible penalties. En Español.
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Assault Charges in Fairfax, Virginia
Criminal charges involving assault in Virginia encompass a wider range of acts than you might realize. The charge of assault is so general that it is inclusive of everything ranging from verbal arguments to physical fights, domestic abuse to sexual aggression, and even violent threats made towards family members or others. Possible assault-related offenses with which you could be charged in Fairfax, Virginia include:
- Simple assault
- Assault and battery
- Threats of death or bodily injury
- Aggravated assault
- Domestic violence
- Malicious wounding
- Aggravated malicious wounding
- Assault against a police officer
There are some unique aspects to assault charges in Virginia of which you may not be aware. For example, whereas most criminal charges must be filed by a law enforcement official, a fellow citizen can charge you with assault. In addition, you don’t have to be the instigator of an altercation in order to be charged with assault. An altercation doesn’t even have to become physical for someone to be facing assault charges; simple assault includes verbal threats when there is a reasonable fear of imminent physical harm.
The Long-Term Effects of a Conviction in Fairfax
An assault conviction can have life-altering consequences that will negatively impact your future, your finances, and your personal relationships. Penalties for an assault conviction start out with a one-year jail sentence and a fine of up to $2,500 and increase as the offenses become more serious. Possible punishments for the conviction of an assault charge include:
- Criminal record
The long term effects of these punishments could change your life in ways you haven’t imagined. Costly fines could equate to cutting corners in your daily routine and an inability to pay bills such as utilities, insurance, and rent or mortgage payments. Probation will mean location restrictions in addition to monitoring, potential classes or community service requirements and even drug or alcohol testing. . Incarceration can lead to separation from your family and friends, job loss, and the loss of your worldly possessions. It is also important to keep in mind that once you are convicted of a felony or misdemeanor offense, you will develop a criminal record, which could impact your ability to obtain employment, education, or even financial loans in the future.
Hiring a Fairfax Assault Attorney
Virginia’s definition of assault does not necessarily require physical altercation or bodily harm. One can be charged with assault simply by exhibiting threatening intentions and the means to follow through with a course of action. With such a subjective definition of assault, it is easy for well-meaning citizens to suddenly be charged with an assault-related offense.
If you are facing assault charges, you should understand exactly how much is at stake should you be convicted. Reaching out to a qualified Fairfax assault attorney is your best chance to learn more about the changes and the potential penalties you are facing. Criminal defense attorney Patrick Woolley has a proven record of success defending criminal charges in Northern Virginia and is well-qualified to answer any questions you may have about assault offenses and the best strategies for defense. Contact his law office right away for a no-cost consultation.